I thought that headline would get your attention. I have just spent the last twenty minutes watching a Channel 4 sex education video aimed at 14 year olds. There. I've said it. Now before you get the wrong idea, it was all in the interests of research. A reader emailed me this earlier...
On a rare day off work I caught a brief portion of Channel 4's Programmes for Schools this morning. To say it shocked me is an understatement. The programme was a new Sex Education show for 14-year-olds.
Please, if you could spare 5 minutes, just watch for a couple of minutes from 6:15 onwards (after two adverts). If this is what Sex Education is understood to mean in New Labour schools, then is it any wonder we have the highest teenage pregnancy rates in Europe??
I'll let the video speak for itself.
I watched the full programme (all in a similar vein to that portion) and not once was any mention made of what contraception was or what options are available. Call me stupid, but I thought THIS is what Sex Education was supposed to be! I wonder how many other parents know exactly what their children are being 'educated' in in these lessons at school.
Well, curiosity got the better of me. I am probably about the least prudish person you could hope to meet. I am not averse to the odd dirty joke or double entendre, as regular readers will realise, but would I want my 14 year old daughter to watch this video and be "educated" about sex via it? I think not (not that I have a 14 year old daughter, I hasten to add). The overt and covert message seems to be that sex is fun and everybody should be doing it as often as possible. Contraception, let alone abstinence hardly rate a mention. The word condom is used once, I think. But you do get to learn about all sorts of different positions and see interviews with people who gleefully tell you that they lost their cherry behind a bikeshed at the age of 13.
Don't get me wrong. The worst thing you can do is teach kids that sex is somehow shameful, but should we really be encouraging kids to have sex before the age of 16?We know it happens, and it always will, but this video almost pressurises kids into thinking they're abnormal if they're not bonking for Britain at the age of 14.
Nowhere is there a mention of the concept of consequence. There are a couple of mentions of the danger of getting STDs, but nothing on how to prevent them. Actions have consequences and films like this surely have a responsibility to explain what the consequences of sex - especially under 16 sex - are.
Truly, I am not being a fuddy duddy about this. Watch the video youself HERE and see for yourself.
UPDATE: If you've watched the video, who do the two cartoon characters remind you of? yep, that's right, Beavers and Buttplug.